JCP publishes proposal for improvement of nursing-care insurance system

The Japanese Communist Party has proposed measures to improve the nursing-care insurance system and reduce users' financial burdens while making services available to all those who need them.

In Japan, the nursing-insurance system was introduced in April 1999 ostensibly to provide affordable care. But three years after the introduction, many local governments are planning to increase the amount of the insurance premiums collected from every Japanese citizen 65 and above.

At a news conference on February 13, JCP Policy Commission Chair Fudesaka Hideyo (Upper House member), pointed out that many elderly people are reluctant to use home-care services due to the heavy financial burdens on users and the shortage of necessary facilities. "It's urgent to take steps to make services more affordable."

The JCP demands that the government be primarily responsive to securing the financial resources. It specifically proposes increasing the government's share of the premiums to 30 percent from the present 25 percent. "This will enable local governments to avoid forcing the people to pay an extra 200 billion yen," the JCP asserts.

It also calls on local governments to use the more than 200 billion yen which remains unused due to the low rate of the use of services.

The JCP proposal also includes reductions in the fees for home-care services, and an increase in the number of beds available for short-stay at nursing facilities. (end)

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.